This afternoon, Siksika Health Services confirmed the first case of a variant of concern in Siksika Nation. The infection detected is the UK variant, which has been identified in countries around the world.
Siksika Health Services CDC team is actively following-up with anyone in the Nation who may have been exposed, to provide information, direction and support.
Those with new or worsening symptoms of any kind should continue to stay home, self-isolate and get tested.
There is a high risk of exposure to this COVID-19 variant for any person traveling on the Crowfoot route school bus from Siksika to Bassano School the morning of Tuesday March 30th. If you were on this bus, please do the following until contacted by a Siksika CDC team member:
- Anyone who was on the bus should isolate at home and leave a message with the Siksika CDC by calling 734-5720, providing your name and contact phone. A CDC team member will call back to provide information and support as soon as possible.
- If anyone was traveling on this bus the morning of Tuesday, March 30th AND they have any new illness symptoms of any kind, even if mild, the entire household should isolate until they are contacted by the Siksika CDC team.
- Anyone who was traveling on this bus should seek testing this weekend. Testing is available by drive-thru between 10:00am-1:00pm daily, or by calling the COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) dispatch at 403-734-5688, 7 days per week.
- Household contacts of individuals on the bus do NOT need to get tested this weekend unless they have new illness symptoms. It is too early for household contacts who do NOT have symptoms – they should wait until after the long weekend to get tested.
While the variants of concern are aggressive and more infectious than the COVID infection weve seen in Siksika so far, it is important to remember that they are still COVID-19. Public health measures are effective in preventing the spread of COVID variants: physical distancing, wearing masks, and hand washing are important to prevent further transmission.
Now is the time for Siksikawa to double-down on these actions to break chains of transmission.
The vaccines used in Canada are effective against these variants. Any Siksikawa who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine should consider being immunized on Tuesday, April 6th at the Deerfoot Sportsplex.
This Easter weekend, it is crucial that Siksika Nation members refrain from gathering indoors privately with people outside their household.
Please respect the privacy of any individuals and households who are affected. Those who are tested and who come forward are doing their part to protect the community.
Anyone in Siksika having trouble dealing with anxiety or emotional stress can call 403-734-5660, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday to speak with a Siksika Health Services Mental Health Therapist. This is a safe and confidential service.